Revisiting black-box governance: The interface between product and inter-organizational integration

Mehmet Donmez, Paul Coughlan, Marie Koulikoff-Souviron

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionScientificpeer-review


The purpose of the paper is to understand the determinants of collaboration in black-box governance mode, defined as partnering with a supplier during product development in which the supplier has complete component design responsibility. We disentangle the interplay between inter-organizational and product integration by employing a polar case study design in two electronics companies. We investigated six dyadic buyer-supplier relationships. The first case study provided evidence that product integration does not mirror inter-organizational integration. The second case study, which focused on understanding the inter-organizational integration dimension in a context of stable product integration, showed that keeping product integration stable in black-box projects did not eliminate the need for collaboration. The ways in which the supplier configures the internal architecture of the sub-components that constitute its component through product interfaces spilled over and created an additional need for inter- organizational integration, which is against the logic of black-box governance mode.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the 77th Annual Meeting of the Academy of Management
Place of PublicationAtlanta, USA
PublisherAcademy of Management
Publication statusPublished - 2017


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